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All HDTV In Widescreen?  

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't currently have HDTV. I noticed in the article in USA Today it stated that ALL HDTV shows are in widescreen. Is this really the case? For example since CBS has their complete lineup in HD, are all these shows in true widescreen (not the normal format stretched to appear to be widescreen)?.
post #2 of 12
Yes, all of native HDTV is widescreen.
post #3 of 12
Agree with CKNA, but CBS, and perhaps others, may cause confusion when they upconvert 480i NTSC into non-HD 1080i ATSC (4:3, not 16:9). My NYC digital CBS station does this for all programming that didn't originate as 1080i HD. Apparently other CBS digital stations also upconvert, and subscribers to Dish's CBS-HD, it appears, may get this upconverted 4:3 1080i (non HD). Viewing this non-HD 1080i in anything but 1080i mode on a converter (such as the S-video output), or trying to stretch 4:3 to 16:9, it appears from previous posts, produces very poor images. Curious if Dish CBS-Hd subscribers get any instructions on this. -- John
post #4 of 12

I view OTA channels here in the SF bay area, channels like KRON-DT, an NBC aff, which does not broadcast any HD material except Jay Leno. The digital channels show up in a 14:9 format with black side panels. I haven't viewed this output on a standard 4:3 set so I don't know how much of this is overscan. The end results is a pretty spectacular image in a 16:9 Mits WS73907 screen. Almost as good as a real HD image.
post #5 of 12
Hmm..just got my HD receiver yesterday. Watched part of
"What Lies Beneath" on channel 509 DirectV and it appeared to have vertical scan lines. Perhaps it was upconverted to
1080I? Anyway it suffered from something. Later there was some boxing on 509 and it was not 16:9 but the image was crisp, clear, and HDTV like. "X Men" on HBO 509 was true
1080I and was excellent.
post #6 of 12
The CBS-HD channel on DISH is broadcast in widescreen all day (even for SD material). So on my 4:3 set, I cannot watch non-HD material on that channel or I have black bars on top, bottom, and both sides.
post #7 of 12
First I'd heard that CBS-HD via dish is widescreen all day. As I mentioned earlier, NYC's non-HD 1080i is 4:3 on my 16:9 screen. Only true-1080i programming is standard 16:9. Wonder if everyone receiving Dish's CBS-HD also sees 4:3 (NTSC) stretched to 16:9? -- John
post #8 of 12
Certainly not! Non-HD programming is 4:3, just like the OTA signal. I should know, I have both.

Brian, does your set automatically squeeze the HD signal into 16:9? If so, that's why you're seeing bars on all sides. If you have the option to turn off the squeeze you should do so when viewing non-HD programming. Otherwise you must use s-video to watch SD material.

This has nothing to do with the CBS-HD channel but with your TV set.

Vic Ruiz
post #9 of 12

Yes, my 4:3 set does the vertical sqeeze when watching any HD signal, and it cannot be turned off. So I have no way of watching the 4:3, upconverted, material on the CBS-HD channel in HD unless I want bars all around the picture. Because of that, I keep my 6000 in SD mode through S-Video unless I'm watching HD material.

I think my confusion was that I thought my TV was doing the sqeeze because the channel was broadcasting widescreen even though the material was not. I thought they put black bars on the side. It may just be that is squeezes HD matrial no matter what.

[This message has been edited by BrianBHD (edited 09-12-2001).]
post #10 of 12
Any station that transmits an HDTV format such as 720p or 1080i is up-converting their normal analog programming to fit the 4x3 portion of a 16x9 raster.

The actual image is 1080i or 720p, but only a portion contains any picture information - the rest is black.

This causes all kinds of headaches for people with 16x9 and 4x3 sets - they assume something is wrong with their TVs.

CBS, ABC, and NBC stations transmitting HD are constantly sending out 1080i or 720p. PBS stations are changing the output format during the day and evening - sometimes it's four channels of 480i, and others it's one 1080i and one 480i channel, or just one 1080i program.

Then there are the stations not transmitting HD, such as Fox and WB affiliates. Many of those are stretching a standard 4x3 image to create a 14x9 aspect ratio and fill more of the screen. Others zoom in to create the 14x9 image.

Some are actually using a zoomed and cropped SDTV image and converting it to 480p.

At present, only CBS, NBC, and ABC affiliates are transmitting only one program at a time with full bandwidth (there are a few exceptions here and there, but this is pretty much the rule).

post #11 of 12
Be aware , different Production groups work with widescreen in different ways.

Inherently Video based HD Post production is usually a true "common height " sytle resulting in extra side information that will not be seen on 4x3 conventional analog broadcasts , but this is not always the case..

Paramount production break that convention as a result of "Creative" pressures in regard to scene composition , they plan to use the common "sides" approach and "favoring Top" tilt and pan method. The downside of this method regardless of any HD benifit is that the viewer of the "full height" 4x3 formatted version as seen on Analog broadcasts will end up with MORE scene on the screen compared with the HD version ..... RIPPED OFF !!!!!!

The third common format is the one used for most telecine conversions where the 4x3 version hads a little more scene information top and bottome, but looses a little on the sides...where the HD 16x9 version had more on the sides and less top and bottom..... even's out , but the clarity of HD makes the HD format worth while!.
post #12 of 12
My standard rant ... The road to HD MUST go through Anamophic Standard Definition digital component, then you ADD full HD programming one show at a time until you have a full scheduled lineup....

This way you drive the consumer to purchase 16x9 sets and digital receivers and in turn they get a better picture and MORE scene than the old NTSC Analog broadcasts , a CLEAR cut advantage to MOVE to DIGITAL , and that's the END of the Chicken and the Egg stalemate folk's !!!

If you can't afford true HD right off the bat, then you should do the following, At LEAST we would get true 16x9 this way on almost ALL primetime programming regardless of whether it is posted in HD! :

Use a full component Standard def anamorphic widescreen distribution of all programming , the VAST majority of which IS being post produced in true FULL height anamorphic.

TRY to process all transmission paths through a station as full digital component SDI.

Then you drive an upconverter prior to ATSC encoder using this full height Anamorphic component video , Then for legacy , at the LAST SDI point before the transmission circuit is turned back into the NTSC format , insert an ASPECT RATIO converter that can be driven remotely tracking from line 23 VITS WS signaling embedded in the signal from it's SOURCE thus allowing for real time center-cut pan&scan, 14x9 letterboxing or God forbid on the RARE event deep 16x9 letterboxing.

It really is THAT simple ! and should have been done that way 2 years ago!. If/When you want to add HD Programming you can just A/B switch between HD distribution and the O/P from the upconverter.... You still need the SDi infrastructure for News and non prime programing that will never warrant true HD production , also commercials.

SINGLE inventory on the Standard Def side of the operation , EVERY other format be it upconvert or ARC legacy can be derived from the parent Anamorphic SD version...

YOU ADD HD PROGRAMMING ONE SHOW AT A TIME as you can afford it until your schedule is full ... A very simple plan , why can't they get it together ?
It sounds simple because it IS simple !...
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